Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Arming And Coddling Our Criminals

Democrats and Republicans both provide comfort and help to our violent offenders. 

The Democrats (actually the Liberals who closely identify with them) have made jail terms shorter and more pleasant for felons.  They've had the death penalty abolished in 17 states and Washington, D.C., and cheered its erosion in the remaining 33.  The 12 killed and 58 injured by James Holmes in a Colorado movie theater have created headlines and the guilt or deliberate intent of the shooter is never in doubt.  Yet an insanity defense is almost certain and it will be many years if ever before this guy gets the ultimate punishment.  Something he would have dodged with certainty if he had chosen the "right" state - one of those 17 merciful ones - to stage his crimes.

Still, violent criminals everywhere should be heartened by the overall statistics.  There are about 14,000 murders committed in the US every year, and only about 43 of the guilty are eventually executed.  So the odds are very good that killers even if they're caught will spend their lives in prisons with decent food, stay, entertainment and health benefits, thanks to liberals' efforts and court directives by progressive judges.  Not to mention the opportunity to bask in media publicity and star in shows like "Lockup Raw."

About two thirds of our murders are committed with use of firearms.  And this is where the NRA backed Republicans are key to ensuring that our criminals are well supplied.  Some precautions like background checks are rendered meaningless when you can avoid them in gun shows.  But as remarkable is letting assault weapons like AK 47s or hand guns with high round magazines be owned for self-protection under the 2nd Amendment.  There have been ample studies like this one of Feb. 2010 in News Medical about how guns in homes do far more harm than good to the owners themselves, leave alone other victims.  Mere facts can't compete of course with the NRA's "Founding Fathers" rhetoric. If it was valid 200 years ago (when slavery and subservience of women was also the norm) many Americans think that alone is a good enough reason to continue such practices. 

There were several media laments about how Obama uttered platitudes but did nothing substantial after the Colorado massacre to force gun control.  But this close to elections I don't blame him.  A large chunk of independents or undecideds can be turned off by such a measure, and those who favor it may be upset, but they'll never switch to Romney.  And conversely, the same may hold though to a much smaller extent for Romney to stick to the NRA playbook. 

After the elections there should be a serious overhaul.  In September 2009 I suggested key changes to our criminal justice system, though these may shock Liberals as well as those on the hard right.  An articulate and astute President supported by some key Congressional leaders with similar qualities from both parties could make this happen.  They can win broad acceptance and acclaim from the "non-fringe" populace, and find alternative sources of campaign funding and support to replace some they'll lose from their extreme base.  See how many of these proposed changes you agree with.

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